At n° 2 Largo Bernasconi, twenty metres back from the road, is situated Villa Argenitna. This villa, which seems to invite you to enter and discover it, was built in 1873-74 by Antonio Croci as the residence of Giovanni Bernasconi, a rich citizen of Mendrisio who made his fortune in Argentina. The villa remaind in his family until 1989, when the Municipality of Mendrisio bought it with the intent of housing the regional library. However, this project never came to a conclusion. The villa is now used as the head offices of the Academy of Architecture.
Villa Argentina is a two-storey building with a large attic surrounded by a balustrade. A small dome can be seen rising from behind this, adding extra depth to its aspect. An elegant loggia runs around each floor, built in an architectural style that has very little to do with the traditional styles usually used in the Canton of Ticino and Lombardy.
Villa Argentina stands out for its original, clever design.
The architects have managed to merge aspects of the Neoclassical style typical of Italian and Ticino architecture with more exotic details, inspired by colonial buildings. Inside, you are struck by the unusual use of space, starting with the entrance hall with its double spiral staircase leading to the floors above.
Behind Villa Argentina lies a large well-tended park with mature trees, some of which are centuries old: the black pines planted upon the instructions of the naturalist Luigi Lavizzari, the huge common yew and the Himalayan cedar. Graceful avenues and park benches invite visitors to stop a while and enjoy the view and nature.
- PARKS AND GARDENS Botanical gardens